Episode 243 - Man Gifted 281-Year-Old Family-Tied Ring Tells His Story / Blogger Amy Johnson Crow On 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks

podcast episode Jul 01, 2018

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  Fisher begins by sharing another family treasure find on eBay. He describes the item he will soon receive. David opens Family Histoire News with the story of two women in their 70s whose DNA tests revealed they were switched at birth! David then notes a story that the Chinese are now using DNA to learn their own Asian origins. Next, the guys talk about the thousands of miles of rock walls that are prevalent throughout New England. Why are they there, when were they placed there, and who put them there? Maybe some of your ancestors! The Golden State Killer case, cracked due to DNA shared on GEDMatch.com, has taken an interesting turn with two murder counts against the accused having been dropped. Hear why. David’s bloggers spotlight this week highlights Dag T. Hoelseth of Norway.  (dagtho.blogspot.com) Dag specializes in the history of Scandinavian royals.

Next, Fisher visits with Maine resident Dan Dixey. Dan recently made news for being the recipient of a remarkable gold ring that was first discovered in a garden in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1949. It dates back to 1737 and has ties to Dan’s family. Hear how it all came about and what Dan’s reaction was to receiving this remarkable gift.

Blogger Amy Johnson Crow then talks with Fisher about her blog project her followers share with her… “52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks.” Amy explains her “prompts” to stimulate ideas and shares some great stories from her followers that came from this fascinating exercise.

Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation  Authority from TMCPlace.com, talks about creating “slide shows.” These are not your grandmother’s slide shows, however. They can include slides, but also still photos, video, home movies, voice over, and so much more. Hear how easy these things are to create and how you can become a family film producer for your clan!

That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!

Transcript of Episode 243

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 243

Fisher: And welcome to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And I’m very excited about today’s guests because we’ve got two very unique people. Dan Dixie’s a guy from Maine, and we talked about him last week on the show as he became the recipient of what they call a “mourning ring,” a ring that was created to commemorate the death of an ancestor or relative way back in the day. And you’re going to want to hear how he got this, how old it is, what it commemorates. It’s fascinating stuff coming up in about 10 minutes. And then later on in the show, one of America’s great genealogical bloggers Amy Johnson Crow. And she started something a few years ago that she continues to this day that is inspiring people to blog about their people. And the stories that are coming out of this project are just incredible. She’s going to share some of those with us as well. That’s coming up later on in the show. Hey, just a reminder by the way if you’re coming to the Federation of Genealogical Society Conference in Indiana coming up in August. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. I’m going to be the keynote speaker on Wednesday morning, actually kicking off the conference, and then later wrapping it up with the class on Saturday afternoon. So, that’s going to be a lot of fun in Fort Wayne, Indiana. If you haven’t signed up yet you’ll want to get to that. And speaking of sign ups, if you haven’t gotten our free Weekly Genie Newsletter sign up yet you can do that through our Facebook page or ExtremeGenes.com. All right, let’s head out to Beantown right now, Boston, Massachusetts, my good friend David Allen Lambert the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. David, how are you doing? 

David: Hey, I’m doing great. I’m looking forward to seeing you in about eight weeks from now or so, out at FGS. I’m giving a couple of talks and I see that you’re keynote, so I know where I’ll be on Wednesday. [Laughs]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Fisher: It is going to be a good time. It is going to be a good time. By the way, I’ve got to tell you I had a score last night. It was on eBay. It’s what they call a trade card. It was like a card that commemorated a business from back in the 1890s and it happens to be from the Fisher family. It’s a spice and coffee business card with a picture of a little boy and he looks like he’s sitting on a treasure chest or something, and I picked it up on eBay. And it’s my grandfather’s first cousin, my first cousin twice removed. So, it’s going to be very interesting to see what’s on the back of this thing which usually gives the history of these businesses. And all the Fishers were in that business including my great grandfather, so it’s going to be great to get this. I can’t believe it was out there. One hundred and twenty six years old.

David: Now, I think sometimes these artifacts find their way to us in very serendipitous ways. [Laughs]

Fisher: You’re absolutely right. Well, it was Ron Fox the photo expert who stumbled upon it. And I won’t even get into how and why he did, and said, “Hey, you might want to look at this!” It’s like, “Holy cow, I had no idea!”

David: Ron’s your personal shopper now. [Laughs]                                                                                                                                                                         

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, Ron’s my personal shopper now. There you go.

David: [Laughs]

Fisher: All right, let’s move on with our Family Histoire News. Where do we start David?

David: Well, I’ll tell you talk about finding things, Denice Juneski and Linda Jourdeans have discovered back in 1945, yeah, somebody picked up the wrong baby. Another case of switched at birth.                                                                                                               

Fisher: Oh my gosh!

David: This happened at the Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a random DNA test has revealed that they have been living separate lives for years. It really makes you want to take a DNA test, if you haven’t, just to be sure mom and dad are your parents.

Fisher: Really? Would you want to know? I mean, these women are in their 70s right? And so they’ve been living each other’s lives which is just insane, and now they know. Has it affected them in a negative or positive way?

David: I don’t know. It sounds like one or two of them for a guest appearance on Extreme Genes is probably going to be necessary.

Fisher: Yeah I think we’re going to have to see if we can track these people down. Unbelievable.                                                                                                                                   

David: You know, it’s not just Americans who are interested in their past. It’s become a global obsession. In fact, young Chinese are turning to commercial genetic testing firms to help determine where they came from. So, you know their ancient origins and the autosomal DNA gives us a picture into things that we may not have thought we had.

Fisher: Interesting. So, they’re trying to find out where in China or Asia they came from originally.

David: Exactly. I’ll tell you one of our best crops in New England as you know from being from Connecticut is stone.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

David: They’re everywhere. The glaciers have given us these lovely presents which are lovely when you’re cutting your lawn. But the farmers have the same problem. What do they do? They picked them up and made walls, thousands of miles of walls. And there’s the great story that will be on Extreme Genes website you can look at that talks about the crisscross of these stones.                                                                                         

Fisher: And the author wrote about the fact that each stone that’s on one of these walls is basically an individual act possibly by a farmer or an African slave, or by a Native American slave.

David: My backyard has a stone wall that separates the border of two properties since 1732 and now they’re protected. In my town you can’t touch an old stone wall and if it is touched you have to rebuild it.                                                      

Fisher: Oh no. [Laughs]

David: You have to break through.                                           

Fisher: Wow!

David: Yeah, that’s an arduous task. Well, let’s see, our next story goes a little deeper. This time it is the Golden State Killer. Apparently now, based on DNA, two of the victims... he’s been accused out of the twelve... he has been cleared of. And our good friend CeCe Moore was on Fox News talking about it.

Fisher: Well, she was talking about this idea of GEDmatch and DNA and you can see the link to her appearance there at ExtremeGenes.com. Interesting now, I think people are thinking, “Oh they’re cleared the Golden State Killer and he was accused because of the DNA.” No, he’s been cleared of two because I think they were associating those two with the pattern of the Golden State Killer and that they obviously nabbed him through his DNA that was found at the sites of other murders. So, he’s still up on charges for ten other murders.

David: Well, each week I like to throw out a blogger spotlight. This one I’m really going far across the pond to Norway where Dag T. Hoelseth has his blog Dagtho.blogspot.com. Dag likes to talk about royalty in genealogy. Specifically, he’s been blogging about Prince Frederik of Denmark, his 50th birthday celebration and giving his lineage. So, if you think you have Danish or Norwegian ancestry and may have a royal connection, take a peek at Dag’s blog. Well, that’s all I have from Beantown this week for you Fish and as usual, if you’re not a member of American Ancestors the New England Historic Genealogical Society welcomes you to use the “Extreme” code on your checkout and save $20.

Fisher: Very nice. All right, thanks so much David. We’ll talk to you next week. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to a guy we talked about last week, Dan Dixie. He’s a Maine resident. He’s from Marblehead, Massachusetts originally and he recently obtained an ancestral item dating back 281 years. How did he get it? What’s it all about? You’re going to be amazed by this story. It’s on the way in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.                                

Segment 2 Episode 243

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Dan Dixie

Fisher: And welcome back! It is Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by Legacy Tree Genealogist at LegacyTree.com. You know, it’s always fun to celebrate people’s big discoveries and big finds in family history. And I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of one that’s any better than the one we’re about to talk about. My guest today is a man named Dan Dixie. He’s up in Maine. He’s a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts. What is it, twelve generations, Dan?

Dan: Yeah, twelve generations of Dixies in Marblehead.

Fisher: Wow! Going back to who? Who was the original Dixie?

Dan: Well, the first Dixie in Marblehead was a Thomas Dixie. He arrived in the Salem, Marblehead area around 1636, and he ran a ferry. He actually rode a ferry across Salem harbor between Marblehead and Salem for a number of years. He was the first Marblehead Dixie.

Fisher: And then you guys have just stayed there for all these generations. Now you’ve left to go to Maine but of course you still left family behind I assume?

Dan: Yes, yes there’s still family and I still have a small plot of land there that I’m not in a rush to move back to in the cemetery. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: But yeah, it’s the family stay which made the family tree search a little bit easy because on the Dixie side there were eleven generations from Thomas born in Marblehead.

Fisher: Now you’ve researched the Dixies forever. You’re obviously a very engaged genealogist for your family, but you’re also kind of a big historian for Marblehead. What do you collect?

Dan: Well, images are a big thing that I like to collect. And I have a thousand old glass negatives from the late 1800s, slides, Marblehead books, and just any kind of history that I could come across doing my research. It all started when I started doing the family tree.

Fisher: Yeah.

Dan: And it tied into what I was doing anyways and I had a dark room in my basement so I was able to you know, print some of these glass negatives and bring old Marblehead alive again.

Fisher: Isn’t that amazing. I found it the same for me. I didn’t like history at all when I was a kid but when I started family history everything changed because suddenly I was tied to it somehow. I think that’s what makes the big difference.

Dan: Yeah. Seems as you get older you get encrusted in that. And ironically, we moved up to right next to Nags Head before I did any of my research. My wife got me a Marblehead book for Christmas and I started reading it and I saw the Dixie name and that’s where it all started.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: This was almost thirty five years ago. It turns out the window that I looked out where I was doing my research was looking out where the ferry ran in 1644 where my ninth great grandfather was rowing back and forth. I’m staring at Nags Head, which is where the Dixies lived from the 1600s into the 1700s.

Fisher: That’s crazy.

Dan: And I knew none of that until I moved up there.

Fisher: It made a big difference didn’t it?

Dan: It sure did.

Fisher: So, let’s talk about this most recent addition to your collection. And I think it’s an incredible story because it really goes back 281 years, but then there was a little stop off in 1949. So let’s just start there. We had a family that was working in a garden I guess it was, in Marblehead or in the area of Marblehead?

Dan: Yes.

Fisher: And something glitters in the garden. You kind of pick it up from there, Dan.

Dan: Yeah. It was May 28, 1949. This gentleman John Griffiths lived on Naugus Head, which is a section of Marblehead, the section where the Dixies lived back in the 1600s and 1700s. He was working in his garden and he saw something shiny. He picked it up and it was a gold ring. It actually had an inscription in it which he could make out most of it, and it had a date on it 1737, which caught his attention. And he went to some local historians and museums and they were able to trace this back. It was a mourning ring which was customary to get a memory of somebody when they died, and it was for John Dixie who died August 22nd 1737.

Fisher: Now, he’s your direct ancestor, is he not?

Dan: Well, he’s my ninth great grand uncle.

Fisher: Okay.

Dan: This John Dixie did not have any children. His brother Samuel is my eighth great grandfather.

Fisher: Got it. When they don’t have the kids you figure well then you’re the inheritor of those things, right?

Dan: [Laughs] Well yeah. I actually have a copy of his will, something that somebody typed up after doing the research of John’s will. And he favored his nephews that all lived right in the neighborhood. They all lived in that Naugus Head area.

Fisher: And typically as I understand it in wills, sometimes people mention a certain amount of money they want to leave aside to create mourning rings. And was there any mention of that in his will.

Dan: There was no mention of getting a mourning ring in the will. So, who had the ring made, who’s wearing it, who owned it, I’m sure we’ll never know for sure. I assume it was probably one of the nephews. 

Fisher: Sure. And you got to wonder how many of them were out there though, right? Did they make just one do you think?

Dan: Well you know, on the front of the ring, the inside inscription, you can read it very well, if you hold it up to the light you can make out everything. On the front of the ring it’s a little bit worn and scratched but there’s two distinct kind of dots, little indents that were obviously put there they weren’t mixed in the thing. And I’m wondering was there two, three, four rings made with one dot on one, and two on the other. It’s only speculation.

Fisher: Sure.

Dan: And my research has just begun. I mean we’re talking three weeks ago when this ring resurfaced two weeks ago when I first got it.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: So I’m still waiting to wake up in the morning and tell my wife about the dream I just had about it.

Fisher: [Laughs] I couldn’t have slept three weeks after something like this. So, let’s just run through this story here. So the Griffiths found this in 1949, and I’m assuming the guy who found it is no longer with us but it remained in their family.

Dan: Yes. John Griffith found it. In fact, I have the original newspaper clipping from 1949. They put it in the paper and all the information. He took it and he actually put it in this little tiny plastic case he had and tucked it away in his belongings. Now, I met him because that’s the neighborhood that we ended up moving to in 1984.

Fisher: Ha!

Dan: He never mentioned the ring to me but he had found it three years earlier.

Fisher: He probably didn’t even think of it anymore, you know?

Dan: Yeah. Yeah I’m sure he didn’t. And he had mentioned it to his daughter but she never saw the ring. So John passed away in 2002 and I ran into her you know, it might have been four, five years ago at some social event in Marblehead, and she told me she says, “You know, my father had mentioned something about a mourning ring that was related to a Dixie at one time. I’m going to see if I can find it.” And she never came across it. I know John, like me, collected a lot of stuff.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: And he had boxes and boxes and boxes and it’s a small ring. And then on May 28th of this year, keep in mind May 28th 1949 her father found it.

Fisher: Wow!

Dan: On May 28th which is just a few weeks ago she was going through a box, she found the newspaper clipping, she’s looking at it and she says underneath it was a plastic box. She picked it up and there was the ring.

Fisher: Wow!

Dan: So that was the first time she had even seen the ring. She had heard about it but when she talked to me about it I had no idea that it went back that far and what it really was. Sort of in the back of your mind you’re saying maybe this is from one of the early generations of Marblehead Dixies but you never imagine it was really going to be from that time period.

Fisher: That’s unbelievable. So she tracks you down and says, “Oh by the way Dan guess what, I found it.”

Dan: Yes. I had been in contact with her. I published a book with all my old Marblehead stuff just in November and she had bought several books for Christmas presents so we were emailing back and forth about that. And I mentioned to her just early this year did you find that ring? And she says, “No I never did.” And she thought it probably had been lost. So when she found it she had my email address and she couldn’t wait to email me and say guess what I found.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: And she gave me the information on John and I saw that information as soon as I thought that John Dixie had died in 1737, without even taking out my papers I said I just talked about him in a lecture I did in Marblehead in April.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: He was in the Naugus Head area? He was married to Sarah Collins, he lived next to Samuel. I knew as much about that family as I do about my great grandparents’ family. So she was very excited to find it and to talk to me about it. When I told her who John was she says, “I want to give it to you.”

Fisher: Oh. And you said immediately, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly take that!” [Laughs]

Dan: [Laughs] I think yeah, when I took my jaw off the floor I said, did I hear what she said?

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Dan: And like I say, it still hasn’t completely sunk in. I mean, I have the ring in my possession now and it’s just a crazy turn of events.

Fisher: That reminds me when I got Joe DiMaggio to sign a baseball for me when I was thirteen years old. And I’d wake up at three in the morning to look at the ball because it was like it was touched by the gods. [Laughs]

Dan: That’s what happen when I went down we did several television interviews down in Marblehead. So I drove down, I had it in my pocket and I’d stop at a rest area, I’d reach in and feel it to make sure the case was in my pocket and then I’d take it out and open it just to see if the ring was really there.

Fisher: It’s unbelievable. It’s got his initials in it, the date, was it the date of death or the date of burial?

Dan: It was the date of death which I had. I already had that in my family tree program. So it had the initials J.D. I think it was an O and a B and then it said 22 August 1737, which is the date he died, then it said A.E. which I guess stands for age of 85, he was 85.

Fisher: Wow!

Dan: And then there was the silversmith or goldsmith’s mark which was P.S. stamped in it which I’m still researching to figure out maybe who made the ring. And it’s funny, in my genealogy program I had he was baptized I think it was in 1657 but you never knew when they were born when you can only find the baptism date.

Fisher: Sure.

Dan: Because they could have been six months old, they could have been ten years old. But he was 85 when he died so he was born in 1652 so it gave me another piece to add into my family tree program.

Fisher: How incredible is that. He’s Dan Dixie. He’s a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts lives in Maine now and just got one of the greatest genealogical scores I think anybody could get.

Dan: It’s crazy.

Fisher: [Laughs] Thanks for joining us and sharing your story Dan.

Dan: Okay. Well thanks for having me and talking to me about it.

Fisher: You know this is the thing, you just don’t know what’s out there, and I think Dan’s story really illustrates the fact that you could have something like this happen to you at some point in your journey as well. All right, coming up next, we’re going to talk to a well known blogger named Amy Johnson Crow, and Amy has been doing a thing about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. Incredible stories you’re going to want to hear it coming up next on Extreme Genes.        

Segment 3 Episode 243

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Amy Johnson Crow

Fisher: Welcome back, it’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, and here is a lady I have never met and I’ve known her for great work for a long, long time. We have a lot of mutual friends and I’m delighted to have Amy Johnson Crow on the show. One of the nation’s great bloggers in the family history area and you can go see her work at AmyJohnsonCrow.com. Welcome to Extreme Genes, finally, Amy!

Amy: Well, thank you for having me here Scott, this is great!

Fisher: Well, you’ve got a great thing going on right now, it’s getting a lot of talk and you’ve done this several times over the last few years. I wanted to hear what started all this, 52 ancestors in 52 weeks and the stories keep rolling in.

Amy: Yeah, this is actually the third time around for the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks project. I did the original one back in, oh gosh, I think it was 2014. And I did it in a way to kind of jumpstart my own blog because you know when you’re blogging it’s important to be consistent.

Fisher: Yeah.

Amy: I thought okay, if I devote myself to writing about one ancestor a week, it’ll give me one blog post a week. I thought okay, yeah, I can handle that. So, I had originally just put it out there as a way to make myself accountable to my readers. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Nice.

Amy: Yeah, and suddenly it just kind of snowballed from there and people were like, “Hey, I want to do that too, I want to do that too.” So, the original one was kind of a free for all you know, you just wrote about whoever and that was great. But, then I started hearing from people who wanted a little bit more structure which I could totally get.

Fisher: Sure.

Amy: Because back in school I was that kid who actually enjoyed doing term papers but I hated coming up with a topic.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Amy: Because I could write about anything, just tell me what to write about.

Fisher: Yeah, tell me what to write about. You know, that is an issue we see with people trying to write histories and we get that question all the time, I’m sure you do too. How do you go about it? Well you know there’s so many ways you can do it, chronologically, you can do it by generation but I think topically, you can get a lot more out of it.

Amy: Yeah. And when I found with the prompts before and with the prompts I have again this year, there are different sets of prompts. Just having sort of a big prompt and it gets people thinking, like I had a prompt back in January and the prompt was longevity.

Fisher: Oh! Yeah.

Amy: Yeah, yeah and I thought, okay well, that will get people looking in our family tree to see which ancestor lived the longest.

Fisher: Right.

Amy: Or what ancestral couple was married a really long time. Well, there was a man by the name of Joseph Dida who did a post about a long lived soup recipe.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Amy: This soup recipe has been passed down in his family for years, and years, and years. And he wrote about that and I thought that’s fabulous.

Fisher: Yeah.

Amy: You know it was just enough to get him thinking about it and he wrote about this soup recipe that maybe nobody really thought about or nobody has really thought about how or who it was that had this soup recipe for decades and decades.

Fisher: Well, if you think about over generations, potentially the people way back when, tasted the same thing that you’re tasting when you cook up that recipe, right?

Amy: Exactly. And it’s interesting to see just how the different prompts have been interpreted. Originally we had the prompt for father’s day and all the people wrote about their own father or wrote about a grandfather. A woman who was taking part in the project, she wrote about a series of letters that her father wrote home when he was a teenager and he was backpacking through Europe. And it was a whole side of her dad that she had never seen before.

Fisher: Really?

Amy: Yeah. I mean, you don’t think about your dad being a teenager backpacking through Europe.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Amy: And stealing beer steins from Hofbrauhaus in Munich.

Fisher: [Laughs] I wonder if she still has that stein.

Amy: No, actually she included this in her blog post. Nobody in the family knew the history of that beer stein, so when her father passed away and they were breaking down the house, they had a yard sale and they sold it.

Fisher: Oh no. Oh no. [Laughs]

Amy: I know. It’s just gone. The beer stein is gone but the story remains.

Fisher: The story remains and that’s the most important thing. I’m very excited, as you know I’m doing a keynote speech at FGS coming up in August, on the importance of story.

Amy: Yeah.

Fisher: And what you’re doing is so significant because it gives people that tap route into their deep family history and I just love hearing them. You got another one for us?

Amy: Well, you know there was a prompt I had done earlier this year and it was maiden aunt.

Fisher: Maiden aunt.

Amy: And when you think about the maiden aunts in the family, you know those aunts, they were never married, never had children.

Fisher: Right.

Amy: Well, we know as genealogists that they can be important as ways to research our family because there could be records about them that ties everything else together. So, you know, we need to pay attention to them.

Fisher: Yeah.

Amy: So, I thought, okay let’s do a prompt and focus on maiden aunts. Well, this one woman, her name is Mary Hanna and she found this incredible story about her aunt and how she was a very strong woman back in the 1800s. And all the different things that she did that you wouldn’t expect a woman then to do.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Amy: Yeah. There was another woman who wrote about, I think it was about a third great aunt or something like that, who she discovered this stash of letters and found out that not only was her third great aunt a nurse in World War I, but this stash of letters was between her and a soldier that she had befriended in the hospital. And just this really sweet relationship that the two of them had and it just brought so much life to somebody that you know, she never married, never had children but this stash of letters really brought her to life.

Fisher: And you know, as you went through those stories about maiden aunt, it triggered a thought in my mind about one of mine and I’m not going to go into it but the point is I’m sure there are people listening right now as you throw out these prompts who immediately have a story that they could be sharing back with us.

Amy: Yeah, exactly. And I try to keep the prompts vague on purpose so that it’s just enough to spark some ideas, yet it’s not so rigid that it has to be this.

Fisher: Right, right.

Amy: And what I’ve been hearing from people who have been doing the project, in fact, I heard from one person just yesterday who said that they have been sharing their blog posts with their family members, emailing them to cousins, posting them on Facebook and whatever. And there was this one story she said it was getting really, really long so she decided to cut the blog post short because she was afraid it was getting too long. Well, she got this email from one of her cousins saying, “Well, where’s the rest of this story?”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Amy: And that’s just like music to any genealogists ears.

Fisher: Yeah.

Amy: To know that you have these cousins who had previously shown no interest really in the genealogy but suddenly they’re wanting to know more. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Fisher: Oh no, I’ve been mocked by my brother over Thanksgiving dinners, over all the stuff I do and all the stuff I know for years. But then I’d get that call like at 11:30 at night, “Hey, Scott, what was that story about Dad?” You know, it’s like, uh huh, uh huh.

Amy: Yeah.

Fisher: Now you’re interested huh? [Laughs]

Amy: Um hmm. Exactly!

Fisher: Wow. Well, this sounds like a great ongoing thing for you Amy. Third year around now and you just started in 2014. You think you’re going to just keep this going forevermore?

Amy: Well, I don’t know about forevermore but yeah, we’re going strong right now. And one thing about it, when people do sign up for our project to receive the prompts, I give them the prompts for the month ahead of time. Because you know some people do like to prepare and some people are like, ugh, that prompt doesn’t really speak to me, but oh that one coming up, that one I like.

Fisher: Right and they’re going to pop something in there. So, if people want to participate, where do they go?

Amy: I have a page set up for it at AmyJohnsonCrow.com/52Ancestors.

Fisher: All right, AmyJohnsonCrow.com/52Ancestors.

Amy: Um hmm.

Fisher: There’s no “e” on the end of Crow, it’s like the bird.

Amy: Exactly.

Fisher: [Laughs] All right. Well, she’s one of America’s great bloggers in genealogy and you can tell why, because she’s going to give you a lot of fun, a lot of great opportunities to share some of your stories right there. Thanks so much Amy! It’s great to finally meet you after all this time. I appreciate your stories and your insight.

Amy: Well, thank you so much for having me and letting me talk about the future ancestors.

Fisher: Tom Perry is going to talk preservation coming up next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show in three minutes.

Segment 4 Episode 243

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back! It is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. This segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. Tom Perry is here, he's our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. Hi Tom, how are you?

Tom: I'm super duper, thank you.

Fisher: So I had quite a week this past week. We had a little spare time and so, wife, Julie and I started going through some of our Taiyo Yuden disks that you digitized for us sometime back of all our old videos. The thing is, there were so many of them, we haven't gotten the chance to fully document what's on each one and index them and create some kind of list that we can use to know what's where. But one thing we ran across that I didn't even know we had, was a video of me and my former morning radio show partner from years ago playing in a doubles tennis match with Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg.

Tom: Wow!

Fisher: And this was back in 1992. I will tell you right now, I was horrible and it was just a really weird thing to look across the court and see Bjorn Borg getting ready to receive my serve.

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: And it was just like, really?! And watching the video was as horrible as I remembered it. Nonetheless, I did get to do this. And so, we were thinking, you know, this would be a great little segment to remove from that and mix with photographs we had of it and turn that into some kind of slideshow or video or whatever that we could have, you know, separate from all this stuff. You've got to break these things out so that you can keep track of them and share them.

Tom: Oh absolutely! We get calls about this all the time about slideshows. And the word slideshow is kind of just like band aid nowadays.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: It’s just a word. So when you say slideshow, they can have photos, it can have video, it can have film, it can of course have slides. And it’s really strange, we're getting to do more and more and more of these, having more and more interests where you think this old stuff would kind of start fading. And the neat thing about it, it’s not hard to do. Anybody that buys Wondershare can do this themselves very easily.

Fisher: Yeah, that's right. And that's the beauty of it, Wondershare is only like, what $50 or something like that.

Tom: Yeah, it’s by far the best out there in the market, no question about it. And if you still have living relatives that are older than you, then what you need to do, you need to get down and start interviewing these people. Even if you don't have the slideshows done, let them look through the raw stuff and just talk about it, record them on your iPhone or your Android and get this stuff done. So even if you don't get it finished for a year or two years and they're gone, you'll still have these voices that you can add to the photos and the video. And with Wondershare, it gives you so many tracks of audio you can mix in all these different things and make it so simple and easy to use. And they're so much more fun to watch when you hear, you know, Aunt Edna talking about who these people are and describing these different events. And some of these things are hilarious, some of them are heartwarming, all of these kinds of things you need to get down. Like you say, you're going through and tagging all your videos. Get out a ledger pad and write down times. Say, "Okay, disk one at this time and this time and this time. I love this clip and this." and just put a short description, so when you go back, you know right where they are, you can go right to them and don't have to load the entire disk into Wondershare.

Fisher: One thing I learned here is, we've got virtually every Christmas from when the kids were little, which is going to be a lot of fun, you know, to put together over time. But it is amazing how much more stuff we have from holidays. And I think everybody's pretty much the same way. And here's a daughter of mine who's now thirty years old, three kids of her own and we're watching her fifth birthday party, actually the same age as her kids right now. It’s just so much fun to see.

Tom: In fact, a lot of people go the extra mile and they put these "slideshows" together for each of their kids and its cool watching the highlights of them at each Christmas. And it’s not like watching, you know, an hour and an hour and an hour, the whole thing is maybe thirty minutes long, and it when from when they were an infant all the way up to their wedding day and watch this metamorphosis from a little child to their wedding.

Fisher: So yeah, we've got to put together the database ultimately so we can figure out what we have, because this is going to be a massive project at some point, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. All right Tom, when we return in three minutes, what do you want to talk about?

Tom: Let's talk about some more software out there where you can better organize your things, put them together and make them living memories.

Fisher: All right, we'll get to that when we return on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 243

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: All right, we're talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth. And Tom, we've been talking about this slideshow concept, the idea of mixing photographs and videos and maybe a little voiceover from somebody from the past and putting together some amazing products that you can share with family reunions and gatherings over the holidays. What other bits of software are out that can help us with this?

Tom: Probably one of the best softwares out there that you have to have with Wondershare is, Heritage Collector, which we talked about before, our mad professor, Marlo.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: He just has released a couple of new modules that are really, really cool, like something that you can add to this, you would think, "Oh, this is going to be hard." but it’s usually if you shot these photos with your iPhone, you already have it, it’s called geo tracking. So when you're watching the video of things like this, it can pop up and say, "Hey, we're in the cemetery looking at aunt Gretel’s grave," and it will tell you exactly down within like three to five feet of exactly where the headstone is if you ever want to go visit it. It will tell you other places they've been, giving you more information about it. The geo tracking is cool. It will let you do QR codes that you can print it out on a calendar, so you can actually have living memories, so all these slideshows that you're editing, you put them in the cloud and then on the kid's birthday or whatever, they can go and click on the QR code and there's, you know, their mother as a little child growing up and going through this different stages. It makes it so fun for the kids to get involved with this. They can actually use their iPads and actually help create content. Maybe they can write down some stories of what they remember about aunt Gretel. Because it’s really interesting, sometimes at these family reunions, you think the kids aren't paying attention and they come up with these special moments that they had, memories that they have that you never even thought of. And so it’s so important to think that, "Oh, you know, these are little kids they don't know what's going on." No, they have some memories, too and they might actually jog your memory, you'll remember, "Oh yeah! Those things are really cool!" So don't leave anybody out. Talk to all your kids. I don't care if they're six years old, talk to them and see if they have any memories. Show them the photos and maybe things will jog their minds to help you in creating your video.

Fisher: Well, it’s funny you mention that, because I was just dealing with my granddaughter the other day. We were looking at a family book of photographs from 2015 and she was telling me all kinds of stories relating to these pictures when she was only about three years old!

Tom: You know, stuff like that is so precious to have and the neat thing about this is, when you're in Wondershare, you can go in and through all these audio tracks I mentioned, you can have one track for this child, one track for this child, and once you get it started, it’s easy to do fade ins fade outs, have the different kids talking about who this person is and what their special memories are. Maybe they were over one day and made cookies or something with them, and they can talk about the excitement that they had, the things that they learned. So what you need to do with all these things once you get into Wondershare, you put all these things together, then you go into Heritage Collector and take these tidbits that you've made and then that's how you add them to the QR codes and the calendars, greeting cards and you scan them and it brings up all these memories, all these little stories. They make great items for, you know, family reunions. If you have like weekly or monthly get together with your own family, it just such an entertainment value and it’s so easy to do. Anybody that has a computer and just very, very basic computer skills, Video Maker is a great magazine to go to for other resources. You want to definitely get Wondershare, because the software's incredible. Heritage Collector brings all the things together and actually helps you with tutorials. With YouTube out there now, it’s amazing how you can find out how to do anything. So don't think that they're over your head. You'll be able to learn it really easy. The equipment they have nowadays is absolutely amazing!

Fisher: All right Tom, well, thanks so much. That's a great idea and I'm kind of inspired to try it. It looks like so much fun and I'm really looking forward to putting together the first one!

Tom: Sounds like a lot of fun.

Fisher: All right Tom, thank so much. We'll talk to you again next week.

Tom: My pleasure.

Fisher: Hey, there's always something new to play with, right? Hey, thanks for joining us. That is our show for this week. Just a reminder, if you haven't done so yet, signup for our Weekly Genie Newsletter, it is absolutely free. It’s got all kind of links to great stories you will enjoy as an amateur genealogist and all kinds of great podcast links as well for other subjects. And don't forget to join me in Fort Wayne, Indiana coming up in August for the FGS conference. I'm going to be the keynote speaker there on the first day, on Wednesday. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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